Is ‘Doing Your Best’ Holding You Back?
That is to say, I hope you are honestly giving the best care you can right now. But we should never confuse giving our best effort today with being the best we can be capable of.
This is another one of those truths that we recognize easily when raising children. You can tell them that you just want them to give it their best effort, but when they start to use “I did my best” as a way out of doing better, you need to help them redefine what their “best” can be.
I’m not saying that most dentists are underperforming, or that they don’t legitimately want the best for their patients, teams and themselves. But this is an example of how the language we use can have subtle, yet profound effects on our thinking. In this case, what sounds like something good—performing at the top level—can also become a self-limiting mindset. Saying that you are delivering to the best of your ability can make it easy to become satisfied with the status quo—it’s also incorrect.
As long as you are a driven, curious person in the ever-evolving profession of dentistry, the best of your ability will always be a moving target.